Draw Near, Not Away
Do you ever have that feeling that maybe God is not listening? That He seems far away? The fact of the matter is that we may face times when we not only feel this way, but this is actually true. That is what the Lord has Zechariah tell His people to begin this book.
Zechariah 1:2-3 The LORD was very angry with your forefathers. Therefore tell the people: This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Return to me,” declares the LORD Almighty, “and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
This is what the Lord reiterates at the end of our passage today.
Zechariah 7:13 When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the LORD Almighty.
Sometimes when it feels that God may not be listening it is because the circumstances that surround us are so “loud” that it is hard to hear Him as He tries to comfort us. But other times is because we have wandered off. We have wandered off in our worship of Him. We have wandered off in our times of reading His word to us. We have wandered off in being obedient to the things He has already specifically told us to do. We have wandered off and have not been listening. To quote God, “But they did not hear nor heed Me,” says the Lord. (Zechariah 1:4)
Fortunately, we do have this promise from the Lord.
To the people of Israel we just read this promise. “Return to me,” declares the LORD Almighty, “and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
For believers today, here is the same promise. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
In both the words of the Lord from Zechariah and from James, the return begins in this way.
Zechariah 1:4 This is what the LORD Almighty says: ’Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’
James 4:8 Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Whenever we have wandered off and are not listened to our Lord, we sin against our Lord. No wonder He seems to not be listening. But in light of our Lord’s promise we are the ones who can remedy this situation. We return, we draw near, we turn from evil ways and practices and we become single minded. We only listen to our Lord’s instructions. Our only action is to obey our Lord. And the Lord promises He will listen.
Here is the bonus, this promise even “works” when feel He is not listening, because the circumstances are so loud.
A simple way to live life is to “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”